You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

NBA playoffs: J.R. Smith says Cavs are expecting 'dirty plays' from Celtics

Sporting News logo Sporting News 5/18/2017 Jordan Heck

UP NEXT
UP NEXT
The Cavs took a 1-0 series lead by abusing the Celtics in Game 1 Wednesday night, and now they're expecting some retaliation.

There's some history between the Celtics and Cavs, most notably when Kelly Olynyk injured Kevin Love by pulling on his shoulder in the 2015 playoffs. Whether the intent was there or not, the play was deemed dirty by many around the league, and J.R. Smith says there will probably be some more "dirty" plays in the rest of this series.

"For them to come out swinging, playing scrappy like they do," Smith responded when asked how he expects Boston to play in Game 2. "They've been playing like that all year. Whenever their backs are up against the wall, they tend to play better, just like we do. So we just got to expect that and understand there might be dirty plays, might be cheap shots coming from the other side just because they are fighting for their lives at this point. So we just got to keep doing what we've been doing."

Even in Game 1 there was a moment when Marcus Smart and Tristan Thompson got into it, going chest-to-chest while barking at one another. Isaiah Thomas stepped in as well to defend his teammate and the result was a double foul on Smart and Thompson.

The talk about dirty play was a topic heading into the series. The Cavs have mostly downplayed it, especially team leader LeBron James, who wasn't about to be baited into a question about whether Olynyk is a dirty player.

“I’m not about storylines,” James said Tuesday when asked about Olynyk. “We just come to play basketball. You guys are trying to create storylines. I’m not for it. The only storyline is Celtics vs. Cavs and who is going to win this series."

While the Cavs look to stay away from the violence, they are clearly expecting to see some fight out of the Celtics in the rest of the series. The key, however, will be the ability to control your emotions and not let their antics force you to retaliate.

Related slideshow: Best of the NBA playoffs (Provided by Photo Services)

LeBron James (23) of the Cleveland Cavaliers dribbles against Terry Rozier (12) of the Boston Celtics in the first half during Game Five of the 2017 NBA Eastern Conference Finals at TD Garden on May 25, in Boston, Mass. 2017 NBA Playoffs

More From Sporting News

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon